vertical divider

Part Four


«  Previous      End Chapter 4     Next  »

She turned her head. The flame that was Storm was fading!

"Don't you dare die on me, you pointed-eared old reprobate!" Loviath cried out. "Not when we've come so far!"

"Too weak," the faint voice said. "Too old, not strong enough. Must go back."

"Not bloody likely!" Loviath grinned. A sudden, joyous feeling rose in her. "Morgan needs us, old friend. And I'm not going to be the one to tell her you're not here." Her voice softened, almost pleading. The elf was proud and stubborn. He rarely admitted needing help. Loviath smiled to herself. In that respect, he was like Surier. "Storm, you carried me once, when I was injured and couldn't travel on my own. Let me repay that debt? For Morgan's sake?"

She could feel the spark relax a bit. Moving closer, she held both hands out, surrounding the spark. It flared, and dimmed. That which was Surier surrounded them like an amber blanket, adding strength and love to Loviath's thoughts and energy. The spark flared again. This time, it didn't dim. Loviath swelled with love and pride in Storm.

"Hold that thought, Little One," Surier's voice instructed. To Storm, he asked, "Which way?"

Loviath relaxed in Surier's mental clasp, as he followed Storm's directions. It had been a long time since she'd heard Surier use that particular endearment. Too long, she admitted. She felt, rather than heard, a pleased chuckle from Surier, and she smiled.

After a few minutes, Loviath spoke. "It seems strange to know where you're going without being able to see past the darkness."

"Darkness? Nay, child," Storm said, his thoughts somehow lighter now. "These are the memories that Morgan and I share. Did you see nothing when you led, or Surier?"

"I saw only darkness."

Storm was amazed and then he figured it out. "Then how...?" He chuckled. "Look with your heart, not your eyes, Loviath. It makes Seeking much easier, you know."

"My heart?" She closed her eyes, trying to find that illusive thing, her heart. "I wasn't aware that I had one," she thought with sad amusement.

"You do, Little One. You do." Surier's voice was confident. "Just think of what Morgan means to you. That's a good place to start."

Loviath made a face and sighed. She really needed to learn to think quieter.

Another chuckle rumbled from Surier. "Loviath, only when there is trust can the words not spoken be heard. Storm doesn't hear what we share, any more than you can hear what Storm and I say."

Loviath gasped and opened her eyes, outraged and embarrassed. "You and Storm?" she squeaked.

Storm answered through Surier's laughter. "I can only hear you when you think of me, Loviath. Or when your thoughts touch on the things that we have shared." He, too, chuckled, knowing what her probable reaction would be. "And there are some things that Woman was not meant to understand. This is what Surier and I share."

Loviath gave a mental 'hmmmph' and settled back to have a bit of a sulk. She smiled when she realized that the two males were trying to smother their laughter. "Oh, have it your way," she reluctantly agreed, not succeeding in hiding her own smile.

She fell quiet, closing her eyes again against the black. Who was the Morgan that she knew? Loviath turned her thoughts inward. She remembered Morgan's patience, her dry humour, her anger at unnecessary pain and at injustice. She remembered Morgan's face, the day Morgan had sponsored her to the Harpers. Further back, she remembered the look on Morgan's face when she had bested the Temple's arms master, a hulking, swaggering warrior, beaten him soundly and swiftly, using only the quarterstaff the arms master had sneered at. She remembered the day that she and Morgan had left the Temple, and all Loviath's familiar surroundings; the time when Morgan and the others escaped from the merchant's home in Sembia; Morgan, tied to a stake to be burned as a heretic.

"Now, open your eyes," Surier prompted.

Half afraid of what she would see, the Harper did as she was bid. The darkness hadn't completely retreated, but she could see. It was more like a moonlit night than anything else. The trio were flitting through a grey-blue forest, blue-tinged light filtering through the leaves. It was a Dreamworld, Morgan's Shadowlands. "Where are we?"

"This is where Morgan found me the first time," Storm said softly. "She was living apart, then, learning. I only stayed long enough to be healed, but, we often returned to check up on her. More times than not, if she wasn't at home, she'd be here. It's just up ahead," he added with a soft sadness. He'd obviously found her there once before, but it wasn't a memory that he was willing to share. Loviath could understand that.

A few paces further, around a bend in the path, lay what appeared to be a black cloth. Storm broke free of Loviath's support, and rushed to it's side. It was Morgan!

The wraith stirred. "Sturmvogel?" The pale voice was filled with excruciating pain. "Storm?" The head wagged slowly, denying their presence. "No. I killed Storm. I couldn't save him. I killed him because I didn't know how to save him." The body heaved with sobs. "Oh, my Heart's Own..."

Loviath's heart contracted in sympathy with the pain she heard in Morgan's voice.

Storm held the frail bundle in his arms. Loviath couldn't hear what he said, but his meaning shone crystal clear. His flame brightened even more than it had with help from her and Surier.

"Tell her, Surier," Storm demanded harshly.

Surier, still holding Loviath, moved forward to touch the slight form. "It's true, Morgan. He lives. Listen."

Loviath, too, listened as Surier recounted how Duthan had found Storm and called Surier and Dr. Rickter over. The elf was gravely wounded but, with the help of The Truth Seeker and Dr. Rickter, and Surier's knowledge of herbs and healing, a knowledge learned from Morgan herself, for the most part, Storm was soon on the mend. He wouldn't be able to fight for a while, but he would live!

Loviath didn't interrupt the tale. Seen through Surier's eyes, the task of healing the elf had been a minor thing. Felt through Surier's heart, however, Loviath learned just how much it meant to the Cleric. His main fear was that, if unable to heal the elf, both Loviath and Morgan would hate him forever. He hated to lose Morgan's friendship, but losing Loviath? That thought had terrified him.

Surier? Unsure? Afraid? This was not something Loviath had expected to learn. It made him seem ... different.... somehow. Less formidable. She'd always been a little in awe of Surier. He always seemed so imposing and impressive.

"Impressive? Me?"

Loviath blushed when she realized that Surier had, again, heard her.

«  Previous      End Chapter 4     Next  »